Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) has announced it has launched a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocked from Vandenberg Air Force Base and delivered the final 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to low earth orbit (LEO), the company said.
All 10 satellites have communicated with the Iridium Satellite Network Operations Center and are preparing to undergo initial on-orbit testing. This was the eighth and final launch for Iridium´s historic launch campaign with SpaceX, seeing a total of 75 new satellites deployed over less than two years.
Iridium has invested approximately USD 3 billion to replace its original satellite system with a new, state-of-the-art network, ushering in an era of financial and technological transformation for the company.
The Iridium satellite constellation is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 cross-linked satellites totaling 66 in the operational constellation, creating a web of coverage around the Earth.
In total, 81 satellites are being built with 75 successfully launched. Nine of the satellites launched will serve as on-orbit spares, and the remaining six will be ground spares.
Iridium Communications Inc. is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time.